A lot of electronic ink has been spilled of late on the subject of Bill C-51. And the effort has been called for. But the irony of all that spent energy is that it is working in Stephen Harper's favour.
The prime minister used to burnish his credentials as an "economist." No more. He has good reasons to not talk about his economic expertise. Tom Walkom writes:
At a fundamental level, the economy is failing. Any number of studies point to this fact. The latest was released this week by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. It says the quality of work in Canada, as measured by wages and job security, has fallen to a 25-year low.
More and more people are trapped in low-paying jobs. More and more are contract workers deemed to be self-employed.
Wage growth for those who already earn good salaries is high. Wage growth for those who earn little is low.
The study says the reasons for this decline are so deeply embedded in the structure of the globalized economy that they will be difficult to reverse.
This picture, of Canadians doomed to live in a world of precarious work, is deeply depressing. It is also a picture that affects far more people than terrorism ever would.
To date, two people have been killed in what the government insists were terrorist attacks. And, this past weekend, we suffered our first casualty in Iraq. The death of Sgt. Doiron may change that conversation. But Mr. Harper desperately wants to keep the conversation from circling back to the economy.
As an economist, our prime minister is a pathetic failure. Soon, on the subject of foreign affairs, the same judgement may await him.